I’ve grown up reading Tom Clancy and probably most of you have at least seen Red October, so this book caught my eye when browsing used books for a recent trip. It’s a fairly human look at what’s involved in sailing on a Trident missile submarine…
Yesterday I mentioned using the Google Webmaster Tools to identify some bad URL’s here on the blog. I decided to do a little more checking to see what else might be wrong. First tool I found was http://www.brokenlinkcheck.com/, free for up to 3000 pages. I set it to run and waited a few minutes, when I checked back I had an assortment of 404 errors, timeouts, and bad hosts – more than a few!
I started looking and a lot of them were in comments (the URL of the commenter). That’s almost impossible to maintain, but the good (or bad) part was that I saw I had managed to approve some spam comments and I needed to clean those up. There were quite a few links in posts that needed fixing too.
I saw fewer patterns than in the work from yesterday, so it was click the link, edit the post, find the bad URL and try to fix. Tedious or coffee work, depending on your mood.
I then checked to see what WordPress had for the problem and found Broken Link Checker. The reviews were decent with a few indicating it was a ‘heavy’ plug-in that decreased performance. I decided to give it a try anyway. It seems like an effective tool. It as number of configuration options, of which the only one I changed was to not check URL’s in comments – too much effort for too little return. The settings below are edited via the settings menu for the plug-in.
Here is what the results look like:
For each bad link you get these choices to fix the problem:
In this case I did a quick search and found the content at a slightly different url so I selected ‘Edit URL’ and made the change.
I don’t know yet on performance. I see several options in the settings to help manage performance; one to only have it run when server load is below a threshold you set, another to limit the run time, and another to only have it run every x hours (72 by default).
Overall a nice plug-in after a first run, I’ll see how it holds up over the next month or two.